Annette and John Sullivan of Elmont celebrate two special dates each year. Annette explains.
Our love story began on Nov. 10, 1961, at a dance at Cresthaven Country Club in Whitestone, Queens. At 11:15 p.m. exactly, John saw me across the room, walked quickly over and asked me to dance.
He had finished his three-year service with the Army in Germany that July and had started a position as a chemist in the sugar industry in September. His sister suggested he go to the dance at Cresthaven. I didn't know it then, but as he was driving over the White-stone Bridge from his home in the Bronx, a thought just came to him that he would like to meet a tall brunette. I was that tall brunette. At the end of the evening, he asked for my phone number. He was 27, and I was 20.
John called a week later. For our first date we went to a cocktail lounge at Idlewild -- now Kennedy -- Airport, where the music was soft and we could easily talk. Years later, he admitted thinking, "Wow, what a perfect date," because I spoke very little and had only one drink. He didn't know that I'd had two wisdom teeth removed earlier that day, hence my not talking much.
By the summer, we knew that we wanted to get engaged, which we did at 11:15 p.m. on Nov. 10, 1962, in celebration of the day we met. John still remembers the blue dress I wore to the dance. We married on Sept. 14, 1963, at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in my neighborhood of Ozone Park, Queens. My matron of honor was my identical twin, Jeannette.
In 1966, we purchased a home in Elmont. We are blessed with a loving daughter and two wonderful sons, two lovely daughters-in-law, five grandchildren and one great-grandson. Over the years, we have been active in various church, school, scouting, sports and community organizations and have traveled to 33 countries on four continents.
John retired from the equipment engineering group of the Long Island Rail Road in 2000. I worked for the Elmont School District and was also the district clerk and recording secretary of the Elmont board of education, retiring in 2004.
We count our many blessings every day. We celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary with family and friends at a party at Pompei Ristorante in West Hempstead. On Sept. 7, we renewed our marriage vows at St. Boniface Roman Catholic Church and will renew them again in October at the Diocese of Rockville Centre Golden Wedding Liturgy.
Not only do we celebrate our wedding anniversary, but also Nov. 10, the day we met. Our daughter teasingly refers to it as our "fake-a-versary." It is the day John first thought about, and then met and married, his tall brunette.